Sunday, November 29, 2009

40 points and happy Knights

I can't quite put my thoughts together in a coherent manner after Gannon's surprising 40-38 win over Northern Ky. last night. So here's what's percolating in my brain:
  • Never has a shot-clock era college basketball team scored only 13 points in a half and been cheered so lustily by their fans afterward.
  • I sat behind the NKU bench last night and was surprised how quickly they became frustrated. Five minutes into the game the coaches were gritting their teeth and Norse players were wincing in pain. If the coaching staff would have provided some positive reinforcement (e.g. saying "it's okay" or "we're all right" instead of fretting and cussing every timeout) the team might have relaxed and made some shots. Tom Chapman was excellent at relaxing his team. One game at UPJ in the late 80s, the Knights were struggling from the free throw line. As Chris Hollan stepped to the charity stripe for a 1-and-1, Chapman said wryly, "If you don't make both, you lose your scholarship." Hollan smiled and then swished both.
  • Another adjustment NKU could have made was going small, keeping the lane open, and using dribble penetration to open up three-point shooters. Keeping their bigs in the game always meant a Gannon defender was in the paint. Just a thought.
  • I know Gannon scored only 40 points, but kudos to Coach Reilly for changing offensive sets in the second half. I didn't turn the Knights into a point-producing juggernaut, but it got the job done.
  • I love Danard Crouch's energy; he reminds me of the Tazmanian Devil. I was stunned to look at the box score and see that he led the Knights with 11 points. He could have had a couple more, but he nearly broke the bank board on his free throw with under a minute to play.
  • Late in the game I leaned over Jim LeCorchick's shoulder and joked, "I'm filling out my all-tournament team form. Do you spell it 'R-E-I-D' or 'R-I-E-D'? I already know how to spell 'Isaac.'" Jimmy's response: "It's I before E except when he leaves."
  • Did you realize that all 4 teams at the Classic went 1-1?
  • Great comments after last night's game from you Gannon Hoops posters. One poster says he talked with George Johnson who affirmed that he's not returning to the team and maybe not even school. That's a shame. Click here to check out all the comments.
  • Finally, it's fitting that the first Gannon win after the death of defensive guru Bob Dukiet was a 40-38 final. Duke would have loved it!


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  2. Jim: who was that girls team that was only averaging like 18 pts a game
    or something absurd like that. They were like 0-21 and made their conference playoffs last year, you had commented on them. Salem International maybe?! I'm thinking they wouldve been thrilled with a 13-13 halftime score haha :)